Aussie Bookies Join to Mitigate Racing Contribution Concerns

19 November 2008

The Age, an Australian paper, reported this week that a number of major corporate bookmakers are working jointly to produce figures that show they will contribute around $15 million Australian dollars to the racing industry in the 2008 fiscal year.

The bookmakers are cooperating, the paper says, in an effort to deflect criticism from certain members of the racing industry that, because the corporate bookies compete directly with the TAB, racing's financial future is being threatened.

The commercial bookmakers operate on smaller margins -- between 3 percent and 5 percent -- while the TAB, which operates a pool betting service, takes approximately 17 percent of every Australian dollar before paying what remains in winnings.

The TAB, which is run by Tabcorp Holdings Ltd., gives about five Australian cents back to racing, the paper said, while the commercial bookmakers return less than one Australian cent.